Category Archives: male anxiety

“You Are With It!,” Will Stanton, 1961

“You Are With It!,” Will Stanton, 1961 — A man in the midst of his normal domestic routine leaves for work and is accosted by a man who declares himself “the host.”  For the next ninety minutes, while the clock … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, consumerism, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, satire, spectatorship/voyeurism, speed/slowness, surveillance, television, theatre/performance, time/history/causality, violence | Leave a comment

“The Handler,” Damon Knight, 1960

“The Handler,” Damon Knight, 1960 —  Pete is the dashing man of the hour–a television star able to charm a room merely by walking through the door.  True to form, after a show he arrives at a post-party, amiable and … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, difference/tolerance, favorites, freaks/misfits, identity/authenticity, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, media/advertising, satire, the body, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 Comment

“Plenitude,” Will Worthington (Will Mohler), 1959

“Plenitude,” Will Worthington (Will Mohler), 1959 —  A family ekes out a hard life on the mountainside.  Opens with a young boy, Mike, asking his father “why, why,” as the father works on his garden. The child’s curiosity is deceptively … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, catastrophe, class/labor/"work", consumerism, gender, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, museums/artifacts, natural/artificial, progress/obsolescence, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, television, Uncategorized, violence | Leave a comment

“The Men Who Murdered Mohammed,” Alfred Bester, 1958

“The Men Who Murdered Mohammed,” Alfred Bester, 1958 – Henry Hassel discovers his wife is cheating on him and he murders her.  Unsatisfied, the genius invents a time travel machine in order to eliminate her from the timeline altogether.  After … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, humor, love/family/children, male anxiety, the scientist, time/history/causality, violence | 1 Comment

“Kill Me With Kindness,” Richard Wilson, 1958

“Kill Me With Kindness,” Richard Wilson, 1958 — A man is trapped in what he assumes is an alien experiment or zoo.  All his needs are met, but he’s given no contact with the moving, living world outside.  His television … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity | Leave a comment

“The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955

“The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955 – (Novella) Two alien anthropologists observe the lonely inhabitants of a boarding house and study Synapse Beta Sub Sixteen, a trait which allows all sentient beings to step outside of their … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, class/labor/"work", communication, consumerism, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, language/libraries, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, media/advertising, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, progress/obsolescence, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance, tourists | Leave a comment

“The Hoofer,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1955

“The Hoofer,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1955 – Returning “tumbler” Spacer tries to reconnect with his family, whom he’s abandoned on long missions several times. His promises were always meant to keep his wife at bay.  This last haul would … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, love/family/children, male anxiety | Leave a comment

“Memento Homo,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1954

“Memento Homo,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1954 – A spacer is attended by his wife on his death bed while his children avoid him and his wealthy neighbor has a party. Comments:  Themes of death, class, memory, and the victims … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, class/labor/"work", death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, memory, mourning/grief | Leave a comment

“The Midas Plague,” Frederik Pohl, 1954

“The Midas Plague,” Frederik Pohl, 1954 — Morey and Cherry Fry have just been married in an extravagant ceremony designed to comply as much as possible with their consumption quota.  Cherry’s parents, as part of the elite, are “poor” and … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, class/labor/"work", consumerism, economics, love/family/children, male anxiety, satire | Leave a comment

“The Man With English,” H. L. Gold, 1953

“The Man With English,” H. L. Gold, 1953 – A rocket-paced short about a dry cleaner who has brain surgery and wakes up to find his senses “reversed.” Comments: Similar to Gold’s “Warm, Dark Places” and “The Trouble With Water,” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, humor, male anxiety, senses/space | Leave a comment

“Warm,” Robert Sheckley, 1953

“Warm,” Robert Sheckley, 1953 – Anders is about to meet his fiancé, Judy, whom he describes as a “reactive machine,” when he hears a disembodied voice calling for help. Comments: Read in Great Tales of SF.  A story of “performing” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, natural/artificial, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, simulacra, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“The Misogynist,” James Gunn, 1952

“The Misogynist,” James Gunn, 1952 – A man suspects that women are a different species, aliens. Comments: Read in SF Author’s Choice 4. Gunn’s introduction states that, not having sisters, he had always thought that women were “soft men, arranged … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, the Other | Leave a comment

“No Woman Born,” C. L. Moore, 1944

“No Woman Born,” C. L. Moore, 1944 – The famous dancer Deirdre is horribly burned in a theater fire and her mind is transplanted into a golden, robotic body.  After much time spent recovering under the care of the physician … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, artists/creativity, cyborgs/posthumans, difference/tolerance, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, male anxiety, masculinity, media/advertising, music, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, senses/space, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 Comment

“Greater than Gods,” C. L. Moore, 1939

“Greater than Gods,” C.L. Moore, 1939 – A man researching eugenics (Dr. Bill Cory) is trying to decide between two prospective wives. He’s visited by distant grand-children from alternate futures (one matriarchal and one fascist/patriarchal) who communicate with him through … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, biological determinism, emotions/intimacy/empathy, eugenics/heredity, evolution, gender, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, matriarchy, photo/film/image, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism | Leave a comment

“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938

“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938 — A winged man is forced to choose between being a “freak”and a productive member of (capitalist) society (i.e., a provider-husband and son-in-law who can inherit the family business).  His wife and father-in-law … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, capitalism/Marxism, freaks/misfits, male anxiety, masculinity, myth, primitive/civilized, suicide, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Man Who Returned,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935

“The Man Who Returned,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935 — (Fantasy) A man wakes up in his coffin but is able to get free. He plans to return home, but finds his wife with his best friend. He decides not to inform … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, bureaucracy/corporations, death/immortality, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, gender, interior/exterior, knowledge/truth/epistemology, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, suicide | Leave a comment

“Bright Illusion,” C. L. Moore, 1934

“Bright Illusion,” C L Moore, 1934 – Dixon, a man on the verge of death in the desert, encounters what he thinks is a mirage, only to find that the golden “egg-like” dome is really an alien consciousness.  The alien … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, cities/architecture/habitats, communication, favorites, gender, identity/authenticity, in/visible, knowledge/truth/epistemology, language/libraries, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, suicide, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“The Man with the Strange Head,” Miles J. Breuer, 1927

“The Man with the Strange Head,” Miles J. Breuer, 1927 – A doctor spies on a potential patient, who has been reported by his neighbors as pacing in his apartment and making strange noises.  He tries to determine the man’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, automata/robots, cyborgs/posthumans, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, horror, interior/exterior, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, natural/artificial, psych/mind/madness, the body | Leave a comment

“The Crystal Egg,” H. G. Wells, 1897

“The Crystal Egg,” H. G. Wells, 1897 — A hen-pecked shop owner discovers an egg that can connect him, visually, to Mars. His wife and step-children want him to sell it, but he refuses.  They’re so persistent, he eventually invents … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, male anxiety, masculinity, photo/film/image, television | Leave a comment

“The Crystal Bell,” Fitz James O’Brien, 1856

“The Crystal Bell,” Fitz-James O’Brien, 1856 – A man is kind to a stranger in a tavern. The stranger rewards him with a crystal bell capable of revealing lies. Although he had never doubted his fiancé before, he is compelled … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, emotions/intimacy/empathy, interior/exterior, knowledge/truth/epistemology, love/family/children, male anxiety, theatre/performance | Leave a comment